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Report: TMZ paid more than $100,000 for Rice videos

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Report: TMZ paid more than $100,000 for Rice videos

The video that cost Ray Rice his career with the Ravens apparently cost TMZ more than a $100,000.

According to a story in the New Yorker focusing on TMZ founder Harvey Levin, the website paid about $15,000 for the video that showed the former Ravens’ running back dragging his then-fiancée and current wife from a casino elevator. Then the website paid nearly $90,000 for the video that showed Rice punching his current wife, Janay Rice, in the elevator on the same night in February of 2014.

That second video, released to the public in September of 2014, led to the Ravens immediately releasing Rice just before he was due to return from a two-game suspension, while the NFL reacted by suspending Rice indefinitely. Rice won an appeal to gain eligibility for reinstatement, but he has not played in the NFL since. The longer he remains unsigned, the less likely it becomes that the 29-year-old Rice will get a chance to resume his career. Free agency is set to begin next month, but while free agent running backs like Doug Martin, Matt Forte, Chris Ivory, and Lamar Miller are expected to be highly-coveted, Rice’s name is not being mentioned in league circles.

Rice has been working to raise awareness about domestic violence since his ouster form the league, and has expressed a desire to work with the NFL to increase domestic violence awareness and prevention.

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As Ravens get closer to playoffs, confidence among one another is apparent

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As Ravens get closer to playoffs, confidence among one another is apparent

Most NFL teams would fear putting their season in the hands of two rookies, but quarterback Lamar Jackson and undrafted free agent Gus Edwards have taken the Baltimore Ravens' confidence to a new level.

You can feel the effects on both sides of the ball as the offense and defense have been working cohesively since their Week 10 bye. Jackson and the offense have dominated time of possession over those four weeks, which in hand allows the defense to have fresh legs each time they take the field as they remain the No.1 total defense in the league.

With two games to go and the postseason in sight, the respect among teammates is apparent.

"We appreciate it so much, the way our offense is playing," linebacker C.J. Mosley said following the team's 20-12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "It's keeping their offense off the field. It allows us to take care of our business, get us rest when we need it, and that is huge."

Heading into the fourth quarter of Sunday's win, Jackson had already hit 100 yards rushing on 13 carries and kept his offense on the field for 37:10 compared to the Buccaneers' 22:50. Plus with the help of Edwards' 104 rushing yards on 19 attempts, the Ravens have rushed for at least 190 yards in five-consecutive games. The last team to do this was the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Then there is the defense. In eight of their 14 games in 2018, the Ravens have held their opponent to under 300 yards, and on Sunday held the Bucs to a season low 241 total yards and 156 net passing yards. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey had his first interception of the year and a career-high four passes defended while dealing with a groin injury in a standout performance.

"We're playing great team football right now to a T," safety Eric Weddle added. "We're playing well off each other— running the ball, controlling the clock, third-down conversions. We just know, as a defense, we just need to continue playing at a high level to give our offense more opportunities. Who knows what's going to happen."

Total team effort has put the Ravens in control of the sixth and final AFC playoff spot and half a game back of the Steelers for the AFC North. As they head to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers in Week 16 and then back to Baltimore to face the dynamic Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns, it appears the offense and defense have together found what works for them in a style of play that pundits deemed unattainable just weeks ago. 

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Lamar Jackson validates John Harbaugh's decision to pick him as starting QB

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Lamar Jackson validates John Harbaugh's decision to pick him as starting QB

Joe Flacco was ready if needed. 

When Ravens head coach John Harbaugh made the decision to stick with rookie Lamar Jackson as the team’s starter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it all but signaled the end of the Flacco era in Baltimore. 

But a game still needed to be played. And the questioned remained that in a must-win game for Baltimore to maintain its playoff position, would Harbaugh be tempted to call on his veteran if Jackson were to struggle. 

Despite a slow start on a rainy afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium, Jackson delivered yet again, improving his record to 4-1 as a starter as the Ravens defeated the Bucs 20-12.

In many ways, the win validated Harbaugh’s decision to stick with the rookie. With Indianapolis and Tennessee both winning on Sunday, there was little room for error for the Ravens in their close fight for a playoff spot.

Jackson once again was electrifying on the ground, rushing for 95 yards on 18 carries, while throwing for 131 yards and one touchdown.

A loss, however, would’ve opened the door for second-guessing as to whether Flacco, with years of playoff experience, should’ve gotten the call. 

The win not only got the Ravens one step closer to clinching a playoff berth, but solidified Jackson’s place as the team’s unquestioned starter. Flacco will be ready if needed against what should be a tougher battle against the Chargers next week, but it’s clear who the Ravens are sticking with down the stretch. 

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